Reflection: My Birthday
It was the best of times, it was the worst of times, it was the age of wisdom, it was the age of foolishness, it was the epoch of belief, it was the epoch of incredulity, it was the season of light, it was the season of darkness, it was the spring of hope, it was the winter of despair.
To quote Charles Dickens, I think this is the best way to describe my twenties with more of the bad being true than not.
You see, today, December 6, I will be thirty. While everyone else waits around for December 31st to ponder the year behind and the year ahead…. December 6th is my time of resolutions and review.
People make leaving your twenties seem like a death sentence…. there’s bucklists and last things to do before the doom that is truly adulthood…. the Dirty 30, as all you social media users say. Well, I don’t feel that way. As a matter of fact, I’ve been holding out since 1st grade for this day.
When my cohorts were hoping for 16, 18, and 21 I was praying for 30.
Why? Because in my head I’d have my life sorted out by then …. school would be a distant memory and by 30, I’d be ‘riding down the freeway of love in a plink cadallic’. In other words, I’d have my dream career, I’d be happy, successful, in love, and maybe even own a pink cadallic.
Is that my current situation? Absolutely not, but I’m more hopeful for that kind of happiness now than ever before.
Like Janie in Zora Neale Hurston’s Their Eyes Were Watching God, I’ve lived my old years first….
Things that people my age will only know in the next 5 – 20 years, I’ve already experienced:
I’ve already sat with a funeral director and made arrangements, I’ve already combed a corpse’s hair, I’ve already provided care for a seriously ill parent, I’ve already danced with chronic pain and depression, I’ve already chosen responsible over passion, I know what telling myself ‘no’ a thousand times out of obligation feels like, I’ve already given myself to others and denied myself ceratain opportunities, I’ve already hosted family holiday meals, I’ve already sat beside loved ones in dark dank hospital rooms and begged God until I couldn’t.. I’ve already suffered through jobs so mindless and numbing I felt like I’d died for 9 hours just for the money. I’ve already buried friends literally and figuratively, I’ve already loved hard though all of it unrequited……
Do I regret any of it? Sometimes. Mostly, My deepest regret is that I allowed myself to be down longer than I deserved and maybe I didn’t go through things with a greater proportion of style and grace …. I just kicked and screamed my way through most of it. I was lazy in too many ways, childish in others, fearful in most, and crazy consistently.
Oh, don’t think for a moment I’ve been saintly or wise, most of the time I was just a spinning top welcoming the whirlwind I felt I deserved….. I purposely made trouble for myself, but with age comes wisdom and what a beautiful gift she is.
I will not miss my twenties, I will not be the 60 year old telling stories really wishing for younger days. Nope. I’ll be the woman that knows each day is what you make it and that sometimes the future is brighter than the past could ever be.
Through years of pondering, I finally know what God’s purpose for me is …. something that was admittedly revealed to me by the kindness of two strangers just recently.
My story is not perfect, but neither is it sad. Everything happened as it should. It was a broken road that lead me here. Here is a place where I have hope, here is the place where I’m developing a plan, here feels right.
No longer will I wait to be loved, no longer will I wait for “my time”, no longer will I give away my peace for approval, no longer will I passively wait for my own happiness to ‘appear’.
A sweet stranger told me I’ve been hiding and I needed to unveil- she spoke the truth. At one time, I asked God to hide me. I was so ashamed of the choices I made, I asked Him to hide me until I was complete, until I loved myself and my life, untill I was proud of the story I could tell my cohorts, colleagues, community, and competitors.
I think God honored my request for long enough and now we are both growing weary of the veil…. both slowly suffocating.
Slowly, the corners of doubt are bellowing away…. I can feel some of the warmth of the sun, I can feel just a bit of the fresh air…and little by little I’ll let the mask fall and fade ….
I can not wait to know my ‘young’ years which will intentionally consist of purpose, drive, focus, friendship, hard work, real love, and joy.
30 my Love, I’ve been waiting on you my entire life. This is it. Sing me your song. I’m ready.
Came in Like a Lamb
Leaving Like A Lion,
Please feel free to comment your confessions and reflections about your personal story.
Also checkout my “Birthday Playlist” highlighting the songs that bring me birthday bliss and describe who I am and growing to become. Link below.